An installation of The Heart of Darkness
Bettina WitteVeen draws a tight parallel between the youthful ardor of New York’s revolutionary Beat Generation poets and activists in the 1950’s and the explosive idealism of the “Geniezeit,” Goethe’s tight-knit circle of colleagues in the period when he wrote Die Leiden des jungen Werthers (1774) and J.M.R. Lenz wrote Die Soldaten (1776).
In the same spirit of Goethe, including the technical significance of Bruchstücke or fragments as well as the rhythmic pulse or “beat,” WitteVeen’s “photographic poem” brings an uncanny beauty to scenes that represent some of the darkest, most raw memories of world history, including chaos, genocide, war and terrorism, and the darker side of young fanaticism when the anthems of dissent become dissonant.
Although the individual elements of the work are fragments, the whole is held in an allegory of remarkable integrity.